Ultimate Guide to Renting a Wedding Tent

Bride and groom in front of a wedding tent
My wedding at the Wadsworth Homestead in Geneseo, NY

Choosing your ideal wedding venue is one of the most vital decisions you will make when planning a memorable wedding. If your chosen venue is outdoors, a wedding tent provides a place for your guests to sit down, shelter from the sun or rain, eat, and enjoy the dancefloor. So, how much does it cost to rent a wedding tent? 

Renting a wedding tent typically costs between $7.50 and $15 per person and the tent should be large enough to accommodate all your guests and amenities. Ensure your venue allows tents, decide if you need heating or cooling, and leave enough time for setting up. Compare quotes to get the best deal.  

In this article, I’ll take you through how much it costs to rent a wedding tent, and I’ll go into some of the common questions like if you can put a wedding tent on uneven ground. 

How Much Does It Cost To Rent a Wedding Tent?

If you believe a tent may be a good option for your big day, price is an important consideration. So, how much does it cost to rent one? 

It costs between $300 and $7,500 to rent a wedding tent. The cost depends mainly on the number of guests and tent size. Other cost factors include whether or not you want a dance floor, bar, buffet table, and other extras.  

Many venues with an outdoor area include the cost of a tent with the price. So don’t assume you have to rent a tent at every venue.

When I got married in upstate NY, the cost of a tent rental was an important factor in my decision making. We looked at having our wedding in a private yard and compared that to the cost of local venues. We found that it would’ve costed us a lot more (not to mention the extra work, planning and clean up) to rent our own tent and other equipment. Paying a venue that included the tent and other amenities was a huge cost savings.

I’ll explain what affects wedding tent pricing in more detail below: 

Number of Guests

The number of guests attending your reception is the main factor affecting the cost of renting a wedding tent. 

According to CostOwl, renting a wedding tent can cost between $0.75 and $1.50 per square foot (0.09 square meters). Considering that each guest should have ten square feet/0.93 square meters, the cost per guest is between $7.50 and $15

This shouldn’t be a surprise if you’ve been reading my other posts about wedding planning and budgeting. The biggest factor in your wedding budget is how many people you invite. Take a look at this post to read why.

Dance Floor 

Since the wedding couple’s first dance is an essential part of the reception—you will need to accommodate a dancefloor. The size of your dancefloor depends on the number of guests and how many are likely to dance. 

A dance floor in a tent usually costs $2 for every square foot, and a typical dance floor is 24 square feet (2.23  square meters). However, you’ll need a more extensive dance floor if you have more than a hundred guests. 

Buffet and Bar

Unless you serve food and drinks in the venue’s building or outside, you will need to accommodate a buffet table and bar. 

Generally, each buffet table should have 100 square feet (9.29 square meters) of space. The size of the bar will depend on how many guests you have and the variety of drinks you want to serve. 

Band or DJ

If you’d like a DJ for your wedding, you should allow for an additional 50 square feet (4.65 square meters) of space and ensure a nearby power source

A band will need at least double this amount of space, and you may also need to pay extra to have a stage installed for them. 

Extras Required

When considering a wedding tent, you should consider any additional extras you might need: 

  • Lighting. If your wedding reception takes place in the evening, you will need to budget extra for lighting. This necessity typically costs $1 per square foot. 
  • Cake display. Many couples have their caterers bring out the wedding cake after the main course and place it on the buffet table. However, if you feel your wedding cake must be a central decor feature, you’ll need extra space for a cake display table.   
  • Heating or air conditioning. No one enjoys sitting in a tent that’s too cold or too hot and humid. Depending on the weather, you might need to pay for heating, fans, or air conditioning. 
  • Drapes. Wedding tents are usually plain white, which can look bare and boring. If you want to personalize the space, drapes can transform the tent into a even more beautiful space.
  • Gift table. An often-overlooked feature in a wedding tent is the gift table. One buffet-sized table is ideal for this.
wedding tent at night
Our wedding tent lit up for the night

What Size Wedding Tent Do You Need?

Now that I’ve discussed what affects wedding tent pricing, I can provide the table below, which explains how much it costs per person, and how big the tent should be: 

Number of GuestsTent Size (including seating and tables)Cost per PersonTotal Cost
40400 sq ft/37.16 sq meters$7.50-$15$300-$600
75750 sq ft/69.68 sq meters$7.50-$15$562.50-$1,125
1001,000 sq ft/92.90 sq meters$7.50-$15$750-$1,500
1501,500 sq ft/139.35 sq meters$7.50-$15$1,125-$2,250
5005,000 sq ft/464 sq meters$7.50-$15$3,750-$7,500
How much a wedding tent costs per guest count

As you can see from the above, things quickly add up when you add more guests. An intimate backyard wedding of less than 40 people will only set you back $300-600. But if you’re having 100 people or more you’ll spend anywhere from $1,000-7,000!

What Size Tent Do You Need for 75 Guests?

You need a 750-square-foot tent for 75 guests. This space only accommodates tables and chairs—you should add another 500 square feet more if you want a dance floor, DJ, buffet table, and bar.

What Size Tent Do You Need for 100 Guests?

You need a 1000-square-foot tent for 100 guests. These dimensions include space for tables and seating for the guests. If you need a dance floor, buffet, bar, and space for a DJ, you’ll need 500 square feet more. 

What Size Tent Do You Need for 150 Guests?

You need a 1,500-square-foot tent for 150 guests. However, this only allows for a basic seating area. To add a dance floor, DJ, buffet tables, and a bar, budget for an extra 750 square feet more. 

For more information about what a wedding costs for 150 guests, check out this post, which gives some helpful information. 

Can You Put a Wedding Tent on Uneven Ground? 

Have you decided to have a wedding tent for your reception and discovered that the ground at your venue is uneven? If so, you might wonder if you can put a tent on uneven ground. 

You can put a wedding tent on uneven ground. However, your tent rental company will need to evaluate the ground to determine if they need to use longer poles for some parts of the installation and if you’ll need an entire wooden platform. 

If the ground is a gentle slope or only slightly uneven, the tent rental company may decide that they can use longer poles on one side. Since they usually already have these poles, a good tent rental company won’t charge you extra. 

However, if the ground is very uneven or slopes steeply, you won’t be able to accommodate your tables and chairs. In such cases, you’d have to pay for a full wooden platform that makes the ground even.


wedding tent lit up at night
Our wedding tent lit up for the night

What To Know Before Renting a Wedding Tent

In one of the previous sections, I mentioned the cost per person for renting a tent for your wedding. If you have decided that a tent is a good option for your special day, below are some essential points to consider before signing a contract with a tent supplier: 

Check if Your Wedding Venue Accepts Tents

Most couples settle on a suitable wedding venue before researching the possibility of having a tent on the big day. If you have found the perfect venue and would like to use a tent for the reception, check with the venue first. 

Some wedding venues do not allow tents because the poles damage their lawn, while others restrict how large the tent may be. When erecting a tent, you need to account for extra space around it to accommodate the stakes and ropes, and your venue might be unable to house the tent size you want. 

Having a wedding reception in a tent instead of inside results in more noise, and, if the venue has houses close by, they might not allow tents due to the noise. 

Book Well in Advance

It’s a good idea to take your time to think about what size tent and accessories you need. Still, it would be best if you didn’t leave it too long because tent rental companies can become fully booked quickly, especially during the summer wedding season. 

Once you’ve chosen the best tent rental option for you, secure the booking as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. 

Obtain Three Quotes

Planning a wedding involves a lot of work, and renting your tent is just one of many things you need to do. Don’t be tempted to book with the first rental company that responds with a quote but get at least three quotes so that you can compare options. 

It’s also worth using the cost table mentioned in the previous section so you don’t get ripped off. 

Decide if You Need Flooring

Wooden tent flooring is an optional extra, and you may not need it if you erect your wedding tent above paving or concrete. However, it’s worth considering if it’s over a lawn, as grass can make moving around challenging and annoying, especially if many guests wear high heels. 

Consider the Weather 

Considering the weather conditions during your wedding reception is essential when considering the extras you’ll need for your wedding tent. 

If you are planning a summer wedding, and it will take place in a typically hot and humid area, the moist heat can feel worse in a tent. In this case, you should consider having air conditioning units or fans operating. If the weather isn’t too hot, you might get away with using fans.

On the other hand, a tent provides little warmth during the winter, and you might need space heaters to help keep your guests more comfortable. 

If your venue is in a storm-prone area, think carefully before deciding on a tent, especially if your wedding will be during the stormy season. Many tent rental companies have insurance policies that require them not to assemble tents if weather-casters predict a severe storm. 

Leave Enough Time for the Set-Up

Erecting a tent usually takes two to four hours, depending on the size and the extras you need. If you’re having a morning wedding with a lunch reception, the tent rental company may need to set it up the day before, in which case you’ll need to check with the venue if this is possible. 

bride and groom cutting the cake inside a wedding tent
Our tent made for a nice backdrop in all of our photos!

Is a Wedding Tent the Right Option for Me? 

Hosting a wedding reception in a tent instead of a regular building is a crucial decision for any couple. If you are still undecided about a wedding tent, here are some reasons to consider: 

  •  Building’s size will not limit you. There is nothing worse than finding the ideal wedding venue, only to discover that it won’t accommodate how many guests you want to invite. Choosing a tent allows you to invite as many guests as you like, as long as there is enough outdoor space. 
  • You can enjoy the outdoors in a protected environment. If you want to take full advantage of your venue’s beauty and features, it’s easier to do this in a tent. If the weather is pleasant, you can leave one side of the tent open and admire the view.
  • It’s easy to personalize a wedding tent. Most rental tents are plain white. Although this sounds boring, it allows you to personalize the space as much as you like.

Final Thoughts

Renting a wedding tent is an excellent idea as you can customize it according to your wedding theme, and you can rent one as small or as big as you like. 

The final cost of renting a wedding tent depends on the following factors:

  • The number of guests 
  • If you want a gift table, buffet, or bar
  • If you want a dancefloor, band, or DJ
  • Extras you need, such as heating, air conditioning, or wooden flooring.


Wondering if you can afford a tent at your wedding? Try my budget guide! It will automatically calculate how much you have to spend on your venue and decorations based on your budget.


Jaime is the owner of Loud Bride and Coast Designs LLC. She got married in 2017 in Geneseo, NY and designed her own wedding invitations and programs for the occasion. Now, she designs bespoke wedding stationery and affordable templates for other couples. She lives in New York city with her husband and two children.

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